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St. Andrews University Commencement 2013

St. Andrews University Commencement Procession

Laurinburg, N.C. - St. Andrews University conferred Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees to members of the class of 2013 Saturday morning during the 116th Commencement Ceremony held on DeTamble Terrace.

In addition to the 80 degrees presented to the graduates in front of family and friends on the windy morning, two special awards were announced.
Jenna Hughes, a Business Administration major from Lusby, Md., received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the University Bob Hopkins.

“Jenna was a captain of the women’s soccer team,” Hopkins said. “She completed her undergraduate degree while engaging in a number of different campus projects, holding down several jobs and earning academic honors. She is a young woman of integrity and is passionate about all she sets out to do.”

Equestrian Program Director Peggy McElveen received the Class of 1991 Distinguished Faculty Service Award. McElveen was unable to attend the ceremony due to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships including both the Hunter Seat and Western Teams from St. Andrews.

North Carolina Poet Laureate Dr. Joseph Bathanti served as the Commencement speaker. A longtime friend of St. Andrews, he shared some thoughts on what makes St. Andrews such a special place. He recounted his first meeting with St. Andrews faculty and students in 1985.

“(The students) loved the place, not merely in the anecdotal, rhetorical fashion we say we love something, but they loved it the way they loved their mother, or their best beloved or even God,” Bathanti said. “And they had felt loved. And it is that love, I’ll attest, that comes out in a very palpable way when I encounter St. Andrews graduates and we start talking about this place. They without fail champion the glories of what happened here during their stays.

“They do not talk about money or material wealth, but the joys of doing what they do – though I should point out that they all seem to not only be gainfully employed, but happy in their chosen path,” he added. “They were changed while at St. Andrews – the recipients of ‘benefactions to mind and soul.’ It was not just a college, but a cathedral, indeed a holy place and all that might conjure. Not only have they, like you, been educated, but evangelized.”

Bathanti quoted Thomas Moore, Einstein, Keats, Frost, Beckett and William Carlos Williams as he shared advice with the graduates.

“So remember what you’ve been taught here in Laurinburg: Remain imaginative, wildly so,” he said. “Travel, read books, see films, go to museums and zoos, be kind to children and animals and the aged, remain intellectually precocious, fall madly in love, care for the planet. Above all, have faith, dream prodigiously and leaven every bit of it with a social conscience and compassion for those less fortunate than you. The poor will always be with us. Compassion does not cost a dime.”

Bathanti was not alone in his words of wisdom to graduates as the student speakers shared insights as well.

“I am about to graduate with a degree in Biology with an equine specialization and a minor in Creative Writing,” said Catherine Stumberg, senior class speaker from San Antonio, Texas. “I know the combination of these disciplines seems a little bizarre, but the fact that I was able to pursue them both fully is a part of what makes St. Andrews such a unique and wonderful place.”

With the wind knocking her cap from her head during her speech, Stumberg encouraged her fellow graduates to value the experiences they had at St. Andrews.

“This Christmas, I brought two of my friends down to Texas to tour the vet school at A&M,” she shared. “They were both veterinary interns for Dr. Kellam, and when they described the opportunities the internship had brought them, our guide could not believe how far ahead of the game they were than other applicants. You can’t put a price on experiences like that.

“St. Andrews has given us the fundamentals we need in order to survive as productive, happy members of society,” she continued. “We have persevered here, and now it is time for us to boldly enter the great unknown.”

Fellow speaker Sally Thompson of Seagrove, received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. As a graduate of the St. Andrews at Sandhills program, Thompson shared the experience of a non-traditional, adult learner.

 “First, I would like to say that it is never too late to go back to school or do anything that you want to do,” Thompson said. “Never limit yourself or say ‘I can’t,’ because of your age or any other limitation. I am a wife, a mother, and even a grandmother, a teacher, a leader and a full-time employee of Sandhills Community College. So I am living proof that returning to school as an adult can be done.”

As a Presbyterian University, St. Andrews held a Baccalaureate Service Friday evening featuring the Rev. Dr. Edward McLeod, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh.

“My assumption is that for lots of folks, the college years are when we begin to be stretched and challenged, socially, intellectually, philosophically, and, yes, theologically, and how we respond to that stretching and that challenge will have a lot to do with who we are for the rest of our lives,” he said. “God is at work in the world bringing light in the darkness, and of the many ways you can choose to live in the world, being on the lookout for that light, and better yet, being a bearer of that light, will connect you to what God is doing in the world, and being connected to what God is doing in the world is what, in my humble opinion, will lead to life of purpose and gladness and joy.”

St. Andrews University Procession

Jenna Hughes - 2013 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award Winner

2013 Commencement Speaker Joseph Bathanti

About St. Andrews University

St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. St. Andrews has added a first graduate level program with a Masters in Business Administration. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.

 

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St. Andrews University
A branch of Webber International University
1700 Dogwood Mile
Laurinburg, NC 28352
(910) 277-5555 • (800) 763-0198 • (fax) 910-277-5020
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